Spin doctors, get your facts straight first

Last year, in an attempt to justify announcing the 2012 recreational duck shooting season, the Baillieu government spin doctors claimed that ducks were in pest proportions and had to be shot in Victoria to protect NSW rice farmers. ('Take a look at the real crop damage ducks do', The Courier, December 28).

Yet according to Professor Richard Kingsford's aerial survey of wetland birds in eastern Australia - October 2011, most birds breeding (98 per cent) were non-game species.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan even told the media that "these ducks are flying in flocks of thousands upon thousands" - which was simply wrong.

On the opening morning of the 2012 Victorian duck shooting season, there were so few ducks in Victoria that shooters across the state could only manage just over one bird each.

Also, some of the native duck species allowed to be shot in Victoria during duck shooting seasons are filter feeders.

These birds do not feed on rice crops.

Field & Game Australia members consistently brag about their wetland projects which involve erecting breeding boxes to increase game species.

But why would duck shooters encourage breeding if this causes crop damage to NSW rice farmers? It doesn't make sense.

The small percentage of NSW rice farmers who believe that native ducks cause crop damage should simply take legal action against FGA to recover their losses and to prevent the erection of future breeding boxes.

Laurie Levy

Coalition Against Duck Shooting


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